Felipe Massa excited by F1’s return to Europe

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Felipe Massa is looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, believing that it is the circuit which both he and Ferrari know best.

“I really like going to Spain,” Massa explained in a team statement. “I’ve always liked both the feel of Barcelona itself and the atmosphere at the track during the race weekend.”

The race, just outside Barcelona, is one where Ferrari will not be short of fans as home favorite Fernando Alonso proves to be a hit with his compatriots, and the Spaniard has won once before at the Circuit de Catalunya. Teammate Massa also has good memories from the race.

“My best memory from Barcelona came in 2007 when I won the race: it was a great victory in front of a fantastic crowd.”

Besides his victory, the track is one that Massa knows well.

“The Circuit de Catalunya is the track that we know best thanks to all the tests that we do there at the start of the year: it’s a complex, technical track where it’s important to have good aerodynamic downforce.

“Obviously I was not happy with my last race in Bahrain and so I hope to be able to get back to fighting for the top places next weekend.”

Massa will be looking to bounce back from his misfortune in Bahrain, and with a good track record in Spain, the Brazilian driver will be hoping to get his European season underway in the best possible fashion.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”